Major themes unify the story of the bible. These patterns help us learn, but they also appear because humans repeatedly behave in the same ways. One of those patterns is the tension between trusting God’s plan rather than taking matters into our own hands. The characters in the bible struggle to trust what God tells them. If we are honest, we often struggle with the same thing. Why is that? The answer is fear.

You can see this pattern active in the life of Abraham over and over again. God asks him to do something counterintuitive, like leave his family. Sometimes Abraham trusts God and the results are beautiful. Other times he lets his fear act against God’s instructions. God keeps inviting Abraham to live differently than the people around him. Upon first glance, that may sound unfair or unreasonable for God to ask of a person. When you reflect on the horrible evil and suffering that results from people’s natural way of living, you might see why God makes alternative suggestions.

So how does this relate to fear? Fear is the motivating force behind many of humanity’s evil and destructive actions. In an attempt to preserve our safety and comfort, we do things that cause harm to others. When you fill the world with many people living in fear, there is a lot of damage. God seems to invite us to trust him and his design for the world. What if your fears are one of the worst guides for life? What if God is actually in control and can care for you? Would that free you up to live differently?

What threads of fear are in your story? Do you fear being left out? Do you fear not having enough money? Take a moment in prayer and offer those fears to God. Ask him to help you trust that he sees, knows, and can care for you. Now ask yourself, how might I care for someone else if I am no longer afraid of the things I normally am?